German Of The Day: Nichts klappt

That means nothing works. Or how about “failed State?” That means failed state. You know, like the failed city-state of Berlin?

Palmer

When the prominent Mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer (Greens) has to come to Berlin for business he says to himself “Watch out, you are now leaving the functioning part of Germany.” He just can’t deal with the mix of crime, drug dealing and bitter poverty confronting him here on the street. “I don’t want to have these conditions in Tübingen,” he says.

Don’t worry. You never will. And you’re right, of course. Nothing works here in Berlin. But isn’t that the point? Oddly, for whatever the reason (decades of SPD-Green-Left Party mismanagement at city hall? Half the population being on welfare?) nobody in Berlin seems to care. And sheesh. In all fairness, this guy has clearly never been to an American city.

Berlin, ein „failed State“? Irgendwie schon, so Tübingens Oberbürgermeister Boris Palmer. Die Mischung aus Kriminalität, Drogenhandel und bitterer Armut auf der Straße verunsichere ihn als Baden-Württemberger nachhaltig.

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Must Be The Heat

Modern German war machines aren’t made for it, if you know what I mean.

Heat

German army shows off ailing NATO helicopter – German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is touring the ranks of the Bundeswehr this summer. But some of the military hardware she is admiring, like the NH90 helicopter, has seen more ground time than flight time.

Mismanagement or routine problems?

Can’t be mismanagement because Frau von der Leyen is Miss Management herself. She has been the Bundeswehr boss for ages now and would never allow this type of thing to happen even though it clearly is happening (a man would have been fired long ago). Besides, she’s one of Chancellor Merkel’s very top girls in the Chancellor Merkel girl group. They’re called The Untouchables.

“We can say that the NH90 has proved its worth.”

Here’s Another One Of Those “You Must Have Confused Me With Somebody Who Gives A S#?$&”T!”

So. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit knew for quite some time now that his SPD Culture Minister buddy André Schmitz had some funny money hiding in Switzerland (everybody‘s doing it these days) and just pretended that this problem would eventually go away all by itself. Well it didn’t, of course, and Schmitz has now had to resign and the mayor is in deep Scheiße about this right now or something, right?

WOWI

Well any other politician would be but you clearly don’t understand with whom we’re dealing with here (unless you do understand). This is Klaus Wowereit HIMSELF (some call him Wowi – with that “v” sound, of course). This is the same guy who “did” the Berlin Airport that still hasn’t been done yet and will end up costing eighty-five quadrillion bazillion euros before it ever does get done, if at all.

Do you think there have been any consequences for that? Hardly. If anything, Wowereit got rewarded for his Engagement (commitment) by being put right back on as the “new” chairman of the board of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company after the “old” one had proven just how clueless he had been and had been forced to leave (that had been Klaus Wowereit too, of course).

Why is this guy always free from sin? Beats the hell out of me. There’s teflon, dann kommt eine ganze Weile gar nichts (then you can go on for a long, long while – way past normal teflon), and then there’s Klaus Wowereit teflon. He’s on his ski vacation right now and simply couldn’t be bothered by any of this. And he’s laughing his ass off all the way down the slopes I bet. Damn. Nice job if you can get it.

Kann ein Kinderschänder ein guter Bildungsminister sein?

Axeman With Nothing To Axe

Hey, nobody else wanted the job.

Mehdorn

Hartmut Mehdorn, former Deutsche Bahn boss, will now be taking over the unbelievable mess some here refer to as Berlin’s international airport or BER. I mean, it’s not really an airport, of course. It’s an urban myth maybe, or a spooky ghost town place or a money-guzzling black hole or maybe even all three of those things, but it ain’t no airport.

Anyways, Mehdorn turned things around by being a tough restructurer at the Deutsche Bahn and Air Berlin. You know, he axed a lot of stuff, people included (that’s why nobody likes him in Germany – there can never be any “losers” here). But how can you be a tough restructurer for something that doesn’t have any structure? Chaos theory is chaos theory and what’s more chaotic than the non-existent Berlin Internatinal Airport? Or did I miss something again and is it in a parallel universe we just haven’t been able to reach yet?

Good luck or something.

“Sie haben mich geholt, jetzt müssen sie mich auch aushalten.”

How About Berlin Brandenburg Willy-Nilly Instead?

Or maybe Berlin Brandenburg Infamy International?

Willy

For now, Berlin’s new airport is officially called Willy Brandt Airport after the former Germ chancellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner widely acknowledged to have been one of post-war Germany’s greatest leaders.

But the image of the airport has been tarnished so heavily by the construction fiasco surrounding it that the Willy Brandt Foundation appears to regret the choice of name.

“Willy Brandt would probably turn in his grave if he knew that he’s supposed to give his name to this catastrophic airport.”

Going, Going…

Not quite gone. But just give this a little more time to ripen. One thing’s for sure: Klaus Wowereit (SPD) will definitely be gone as mayor before Berlin’s international airport ever opens – now pushed back to 2014.

Klaus

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit stepped down on Monday as head of a board overseeing the building of the city’s new international airport after yet another delay in the project dealt a fresh blow to Germany’s reputation for efficiency.

But Wowereit told a news conference he would not resign as mayor, despite calls for him to step down, due to the debacle over Willy Brandt International Airport, which was originally planned to open in 2008.

How’s that saying go? Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. That is, it’s better to make a painful break than draw out the agony. And funny, I wouldn’t find a break like that painful at all.

“It’s over, Klaus.”